(1.) The area in front of or next to the bench that is removed from the witness stand and the jury box. Judges will often call attorneys to speak confidentially with the judge privately so that the jury cannot hear what is discussed. (2.) To take part in such a discussion (as in to sidebar with another party).
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
1) An area in front of or next to a judge's bench (the raised desk in front of the judge) away from the witness stand and the jury box, where lawyers are called to speak confidentially with the judge out of earshot of the jury. 2) A discussion between the judge and attorneys at the bench off the record and outside the hearing of the jurors or spectators.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:24 pm